More Evidence That Acupuncture Improves the Outcome of IVF
Once considered an unusual treatment, acupuncture has become a valued and more mainstream method of enhancing an IVF cycle. As successive studies point to its efficacy, couples are more comfortable about adding a course of acupuncture to their IVF protocol.
Many of you are familiar with this German study that looked at 160 women undergoing IVF and split them into two groups. One group combined acupuncture with IVF and one group did not. Interestingly the group that did the acupuncture had a 50% better outcome than the group that did IVF alone. Likewise research published in the British Medical Journal showed that women doing IVF who underwent acupuncture were 65% more likely to have a successful embryo transfer compared with those who underwent a “sham” version of the treatment, or no extra treatment at all. You can read about this study here.
Now some new research may be casting further light on why acupuncture can be so helpful. The study, which you can read here, looks at how acupuncture when given twice a week for about 5 weeks regulates the stress hormones cortisol and prolactin and so improves pregnancy rates.
An IVF cycle can be very stressful. My patients talk about the emotional pressure of having so much riding on the outcome of the procedure and how this combined with constant monitoring and taking large doses of stimulating drugs makes them tense and tired. Some studies, like this one by UCSD, have shown that the more stressed a patient is, the poorer the result, because of the way stress interferes negatively with reproductive hormones. The reason this latest acupuncture study is important is that it shows that regular acupuncture treatment can offset the negative effects of stress by regulating stress hormones and so help a patient have the best possible outcome from IVF.
Free 15 minute consultations are available at Yin Studio to discuss how acupuncture can assist you on your fertility journey.